Celtics and Heat players issue statement on Jacob Blake, U.S. Capitol riot, playing

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When police shot Jacob Blake in the back seven times in August, NBA players went on strike.

Celtics wing Jaylen Brown said striking could be done again.

With the announcement that no charges would be filed in the Blake incident and rioters storming the U.S. Capitol, Boston is playing the Heat in Miami tonight – but with a shared statement from the teams’ players explaining why.

Celtics:

This statement follows a disrupted pregame in which speculation stirred about whether the game would even occur.

Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe:

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Celtics players are really finding their collective voice.

I wouldn’t blame players one bit if they decided not to play. It’s hard to focus on basketball right now. Striking would’ve also generated even more attention for their cause.

But there isn’t an established path between striking and achieving traditional goals beyond the NBA. Remember, players decided to end their strike in the bubble then met with owners and announced tangible gains. And as Lou Williams said, it’s easier to tell NBA players to strike than for them to actually do it.

Hopefully, this statement is heard. Police accountability remains too low. Double standards along racial lines exist in how law enforcement operates. Kudos to the Celtics and Heat players for amplifying these issues. The problems are no less significant just because a basketball game is happening tonight.